Gondal, Gujarat 360311, India
Gondal finds mention in texts like Ain-i-Akbari (written in the reign of Akbar) and Mirat-i-Ahmadi as Vaghela state in Sorath (Saurashtra). The Gondal state in Kathiawar Agency was founded in 1634 by Thakore Shri Kumbhoji I Meramanji from Jadeja dynasty, who received Ardoi and other villages from his father Meramanji. With his fourth descendant Kumbhoji IV, the State raised itself, by acquiring parganas of Doraji, Upleta, Sarai etc. Later Sir Bhagwant Singhji who reigned from 1888 until his death in 1944, was its most noted ruler, known for his various tax reforms, compulsory education for women and also removing the purdah tradition for women at a time when the royal households of India were known for this tradition. Moreover, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, ancestors belong to Paneli village in Gondal state. The Gondal town lies on the banks of Gondali river and in 1901 had a population of 19,592. The town has a railway station on the branch line between Rajkot-Jetalsar on the Western Railway Line of Viramgam-Rajkot-Somnath line . Historical places of Gondal See also: Gondal State The Riverside Palace was built in 1875 by Maharajah Bhagwat Sinhji for his son Yuvraj Bhojraji, which is groomed be lawns and gardens, and has marvelously appointed sitting arrangement — the "living room" is furnished in typical colonial style with chandelier, antique wooden furniture and sofas; whereas the "Indian room" decorated with beadwork, brassware and paintings, it has now become a heritage hotel. Detail of Naulakha Palace Gondal, 1909 The Naulakha Palace is the oldest extant palace in Gondal, dating back to the 17th century. It has legendary stone carvings with exquisite "jharokhas" (balconies), a fabulous pillared courtyard, delicately carved arches, and a unique spiral staircase. The large chandelier-lit "durbar" hall (court house) witnesses stuffed panthers, gilt wooden furniture, and antique mirrors. The Private palace museum displays an impressive display of silver caskets which were in the services of carrying messages and gifts for Maharajah Bhagwat Sinhji on his silver jubilee as ruler of Gondal. The Huzoor Palace is the current royal residence, whose one wing is opened for public. It is known as the Orchard Palace because of its huge surroundings of fruit orchards, lawns and gardens. The Room of miniatures is a splendid sitting room with a collection of miniature paintings, brass, and antique furniture. There is one railway couch available for public view in this palace, which was one part of Gondal Royal Railway. The Royal Garages have an extensive collection of vintage and classic cars, for which it has been famous all over the world. Gondal has a heritage of art and literature. It is birthplace of poets, singers and artists like Pankaj Udhas, Manhar Udhas, Nirmal Udhas, Dhumaketu, Makarand Dave, Jay Vasavada, Sairam Dave, Vipul Mangukiya and Atul Pandya. The people of the Gondal, like in most of the other parts of Saurashtra, are considered relatively spiritual. Some of the famous temples include Akshar Mandir (BAPS Swaminarayan), and Bhuvneshwari Mandir, Sureshwar Mahadev, and Dhareshwar Mahadev. Akshar Deri, housed within the Akshar Mandir, is the samadhi sthan of Gunatitanand Swami, who was a paramhansa of Swaminarayan and is accepted as the first spiritual successor of Swaminarayan by the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS).Dasi Jeevan Mandir in Ghoghavadar (6 km from Gondal) is a place where renowned Saint Dasi Jeevan lived. Every Gujarati New Year day, people gather to celebrate the holy Saint's birth anniversary. The first largest Gujarati dictionary was written by noted educationalists/authors (like Shri Champaklal Vyas) in Gondal by the finance and support of Sir Bhagvatsighji Maharaj. The main economic impetus is through Oil Mills and Marketing Yard and various small businesses including jewelry designers, timber trading, and various hardware enterprises. The market for most commodities is located mainly in two areas known as Nani Bazaar (literally, small market) and Moti Bazaar (literally, large market). Transportation from other parts of the country is primarily by road and rail. Gondal is well known for its 3-Gs Gunda (Thugs), Ganda (Retards), Gathiya (A Delicious Gujarati Snack). Gondal is the largest producer of ground nut oil in Gujarat. It has nearly 300-500 oil mills.Gondal has two Ayurvedic medicine manufacturers exporting to various foreign countries.There is extensive farming in the outskirts of Gondal though availability of sufficient water can be a problem as is common in the rest of Gujarat.. Gondal railway station, under the Bhavnagar railway division serves the Gondal town. Major educational schools includes Saint Mary's School. There are many noteworthy alumni across the world from this school. Many working in USA, Australia and UK. Some distinguished students from this school There are many engineers currently in Australia, and others working across the world coming from this school. The main residential areas in Gondal include G.Parekh street, Chunara street, Khandheria street, Gundala street, Mahadevwadi, Bhojarajapara, Housing Board, Station Plot, Gundala Road,Yoginagar,Shajanand Nagar,Khodiyar Nagar and Gokul Dham . The most posh residential area in Gondal are "Kailashbag"and "Radha-Krishna Nagar", which is near to bus station and also main market. The main business areas in Gondal include Town Hall, Gundala Street, Nani Bazaar, Moti Bazaar " Kadiyalane " "Bus stand road","Kumbharwada". Gardens and parks include Tulsi Baugh, Ashapura Gardens. The marketing yard is one of the biggest in the Kathiawar region and second largest in Gujarat after Unjha.Gondal is growing in the cotton trade. Many ginning and pressing industries are developing here. There are many well known doctors and engineer working in US and UK who were born and educated in Gondal. St. Mary's School, Vidhya mandir, Patel Boarding, Akshar Purshotam Swami Narayan High School, Highway Gurukul etc. are schools who gave many bright students. Monghiba High school is one of the oldest girls-only schools in the region. Center Theater, Roma Theater, Tulsi Baag, College chowk, Victory cinema, Nani Bazaar, Moti bazaar, Bus Stand road etc. are the major landmarks in Gondal. During 1947, many people who spoke Memoni (a language of a community) migrate to Pakistan. Dr. Abdul Ghaffar Javeri was the one of Doctor who also migrate to Karachi-Pakistan, his clinic was at ACHI QABAR, beside the Boulton Market. DEVCHADI is a very Famous Cultural type village near Gondal. Devchadi is a well organised village founded in 1960.